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Wednesday, Jun 19th

Kenya: CA ordered to avail Kshs1 billion to fight cybercrime

Kenya: CA ordered to avail Kshs1 billion to fight cybercrime

Kenya's Communication Authority has been ordered to avail Kshs1 billion to the police force to fight cyber crime.

In what is widely seen to be a controversial move, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the regulator should use the Universal Service Fund.

"We have agreed this morning that in order to boost the capacity of the directorate of criminal investigation to deal with cyber crime, the Communication Authority that has its Universal Service Fund; one billion shillings from that fund will be moved to the directorate of criminal investigation to help boost their capacity to provide services, in order to deal with cyber crime and other complex crimes that today, Kenyans must contend with," said Kenyatta.

The President added, "Wanaokota pesa hapo na hatujui wanafanya nini nayo (they are collecting the levies but we don't know what they are doing with it)."

The Universal Service Fund was established to ensure that underserved areas in the country are provided with connectivity. Telecommunications firms pay a mandatory 0.5% of their revenue towards the Fund.

In 2017 the CA commissioned Liquid Telecom Ltd, Xtranet Communications Ltd and Commcarrier Satellite Services Ltd. to connect 896 schools across the country with broadband at a price tag of US$8.3 million.

By May last year the Authority said it had invested US$10 million into various connectivity projects.

Many have criticised the latest move by the President, saying that the funds are not supposed to be used to enhance connectivity and not to tackle cyber crime.

Some have taken to social media to express their feelings.

M.M‏ @wa_mutegi For crying out loud, this is a blatant screaming illegality! This isn't the purpose of the Universal Service Fund!

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito‏ @ekenyanito Government has 4 Principal Secretaries sitting on the @CA_Kenya Board. They know universal service fund was meant for affordable access not other unilateral projects. The CA is supposed 2 be independent see Art 34 Kenyan Constitution & KICA Act:-

Meanwhile, the Communications Authority could soon face legal action for allegedly disobeying a court order.

On Thursday the regulator was ordered to reinstate three major broadcasters after they were removed from air for covering the mock swearing-in of Raila Odinga "as the people's president".

The stations have remained off air.

Activist Okiya Omtatah has vowed to sue the Authority's board


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